Arguing that current City of San Antonio incentives are causing displacement, 100 COPS/Metro leaders pressured the mayor of San Antonio to directly prevent it.
Fr. Larry Christian, of St. Ann Catholic Church and COPS/Metro, called for increased public efforts to educate residents about available resources including “property tax freezes for senior citizens... and tax credits for homeowners that improve their homes.”
The mayor affirmed that he is listening to the organization and committed to collaborating with COPS/Metro leaders on this issue.
[Photo Credit: Scott Ball, Rivard Report]
In a move to boost voter turnout among neglected communities, Texas IAF organizations reached into suburbs surrounding Texas’ largest cities to assemble by the thousands in political, nonpartisan assemblies to help leaders wrest commitments from candidates for state and federal office. Having witnessed candidate responses to locally-developed agendas, which span from local control to Texas school finance and federal immigration reform, leaders are now mobilizing their neighbors to Get Out The Vote.
In North Dallas, for example, two thousand DAI leaders -- many from Carrollton and Farmers Branch -- invited candidates for House Districts 114, 115, 105 and 107, and Congressional District 32, to commit to investing public funds in local labor market intermediaries, crafting immigration reform that would end the separation of children from their parents at the border (and include protections for DACA youth), cracking down on predatory lending, and repealing Senate Bill 4. Hundreds more from Austin and Hayes County challenged candidates for US Congressional Districts 25 and 21, and State House Districts 47, 45 and 136 to publicly pledge support for similar priorities, including the defense of local control over municipal housing and labor policy. In Helotes, just outside of San Antonio, COPS / Metro leaders carted out boxes with thousands of postcard pledges by voters to participate in the election of US Representative for Congressional District 23, which extends to the outskirts of El Paso, and State Representative for House Districts 117 and 118. In Houston, TMO organized assemblies with candidates for US Congressional District 7 and 29; House Districts 144, 133, and 135; and Senate District 17.
Already, unpaid armies of organizational leaders have knocked on thousands of doors and called thousands more to remind supporters and voters to participate in the midterm elections. Last weekend, for example, Austin Interfaith leaders knocked on doors in three counties, four legislative districts and 2 congressional districts. This weekend, all Texas IAF organizations are making a final push -- from the pews, inside health clinics and in long-neglected neighborhoods -- to ensure the highest turnout possible in support of their agenda.
Leaders understand that targeted voter engagement efforts following accountability assemblies help advance their agenda. This year alone, local Texas IAF organizations succeeded in raising municipal wage floors in San Antonio and Austin to $15 per hour; leveraging the support of Chief of Police Art Acevedo to make Houston the first city in Texas to support a gun safety strategy; and preventing unnecessary deportations through widespread adoption of identification cards generated by parishes within the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.
Candidates Share Platform at Assembly, Austin American Statesman
Why Dallas Republicans Skipped an Interfaith Forum, Rewire.News
DAI Accountability Forum [Video]
In many ways, the history of the Archdiocese of San Antonio is a series of immigration stories that reflect the state's political shifts, its segregation, its social changes and the succeeding waves of religious leaders and workers who came to Texas to convert the population and lead the faithful....Read more
Some candidates agreed to aggressively push the organization's goals. Others remained conspicuously absent.Read more
Project Quest, Rackspace Train Military Veterans in Cybersecurity and Celebrate 4th Year of Open Cloud Academy
When Jacob Mireles returned home from deployment in Afghanistan and Kuwait last year, he quickly applied to Project QUEST for Rackspace's Open Cloud Academy cyber security track in Information Technology. During the training he ran into financial issues and Project QUEST assisted with a portion of the mortgage and utilities. He went on to successfully complete the program and soon after graduation, was hired by IP Secure where he now works as a Security Control Assessor, testing risks attributable to software and hardware systems.Read more
Texas IAF organizations in San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso are at the forefront of potential living wage victories for county and city employees. Due to the work of COPS / Metro Alliance and Austin Interfaith, the cities of San Antonio and Austin are on the verge of passing proposed budgets which would increase wages from more than $11 per hour to $13 per hour. Bexar County and El Paso County also have upcoming votes to raise the wages of county workers from $9.45 to $10 in El Paso and from $11.66 to $13 in Bexar. Graphic to the right shows the relative impact of this wage work .Read more
COPS / Metro leaders and allies are celebrating a huge victory â€” the city manager and a majority of city council members are now agreeing to COPS / Metro's proposal to raise wages for the lowest paid city workers to $13 / hour for fiscal year 2016. This exceeds the City's current living wage standard of $11.47 / hour.Read more
"At the first convention of Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS) in 1974, Fernando Rodriguez Jr. introduced a resolution to open a community college on the West Side or South Side. BerriozÃ¡bal remembers the idea of such a college was a hard sell for local officials.Read more
Two days prior, 325 COPS / Metro Alliance leaders gathered at Sacred Heart Catholic Church to announce their campaign to boost the wage floor for city and county employees from $11.47 per hour to almost $15 / hour. Elvira Adame shared how it angers her to see her daughter earning only $8.50 per hour at a public community college, leaving her "stressed and tired all the time from working so hard." Adame's daughter works full-time without benefits, sick leave or vacation time; to pick up the slack she picked up a second job, but even then is barely getting by.Read more